Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Orlando Weekend Preview: February 27th - March 1st, 2015

Weekend Events

This weekend kicks off Thursday with the start of the 2015 Central Florida Fair, which runs through March 8th. Bring a canned food item Thursday and get in for only $1 (and enjoy $1 rides all night); otherwise tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for kids.

Also starting this weekend is the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City, Florida. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids, and free for kids under 5. 

Friday, February 27th

"Together...we ARE traffic!" is the motto of Orlando Critical Mass, happening this Friday at 5:30pm at Loch Haven Park, with a prompt departure at 6:00pm. Bring a helmet and lights!

Phat-n-Jazzy turns 21 this Friday and they're bringing in DâM-FunK, ambassador of boogie funk (obviously), to celebrate. Check it out at 10:00pm at The Social; tickets start at $10.

Guest readers Frank Messina and Caitlin Doyle join Friday's Kerouac Open Mic Night, alongside jazz pianist Per Danielsson. It's happening at the Gallery at Avalon Island, 8:00pm; $5 suggested donation.

Saturday, February 28th

Downtown Orlando will host the 9th Annual Blues-B-Q this Saturday from 4:00 to 10:00pm, featuring live music (including a performance by Betty Wright) and lots of food and drink vendors.

Well, this is awkward... Winter Garden is having its own Blues & BBQ festival this Saturday from 4:00 to 10:00pm. Enjoy some live music with beer and BBQ available for purchase.

Back in Downtown Orlando, The Great Orlando Craft Beer Festival is taking place at Wall Street Plaza this Saturday from 3:00 to 7:00pm. Try 15 unique brews and don't miss the after-party with live music. Get your $20 tickets online, because they'll be $30 at the door!

If you're looking for a quieter way to spend a Saturday, check out the Intuitive Photography Walkabout at the beautiful Dickson Azalea Park. $5, all levels. 

Sunday, March 1st

This edition of Uncomfortable Brunch at Will's Pub features Enter the Void, a psychedelic movie about life, death, and drugs, set in Tokyo. Check it out Sunday at noon, 18+, $10 for movie and brunch.

For a more comfortable brunch, visit Casa Feliz in Winter Park for Music at the Casa, this Sunday from noon to 3:00pm. Live music by classical guitarist Brian Hayes, a tour of the estate, and light refreshments; free but donations appreciated.

History buff alert: 1913: Seeds of Conflict is a documentary that "explores the divergent social forces growing in Palestine before World War I." Catch it this Sunday at noon at the Enzian, along with a Q&A with the director hosted by WMFE's The Three Wise Guys; tickets are $10. 

What are you up to this weekend, Orlando? Leave a comment!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Orlando Weekend Preview: February 20th - 22nd, 2015

Photo by Tina Craig
Weekend Events

This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday is Ralphfest 4, a three-day music festival at different venues around town. Tons of bands, band reunions, Sunday BBQ, and more.

Fashion, entertainment, interior design, and bourbon tastings (?) come together at the Orlando Museum of Art's Antiques, Vintage & Garden Show this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 

For even more antiques and some potentially strange finds, don't miss Renninger's Antiques and Collectors Extravaganza this weekend in Mount Dora; tickets are between $4 and $15 depending on the day(s).

This Saturday and Sunday, the Downtown Food & Wine Fest will feature 30 food vendors, 10 wine stations, and plenty of live music and activities; tickets start at $15 online and $20 at the gates.

Friday, February 20th

A lot of our Weekend Events start this Friday, including Ralphfest, the Antiques, Vintage & Garden Show, and Renninger's. It's also the last weekend of the Osceola County Fair, going on through Sunday.

Saturday, February 21st

EuroJam 2015 is Central Florida's largest European-only car show, happening this Saturday from 9:00am; tickets start at $5. 

The 15th Annual Orlando Wetlands Festival is a free event at one of our favorite parks, going on this Saturday from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Check out the schedule for tours, activities, workshops, prizes, and music. 

Feeling retro? Then don't miss The Orlando (Afternoon) Shuffle this Saturday from 3:00 to 5:00pm; free, equipment provided. 

So, lent kind of already started, but that's not keeping Sanford from partying. Sanford Mardi Gras takes over downtown Sanford this Saturday, from 11:00am to 6:00pm.  

Brookhaven Spring Market is your chance to meet some of Orlando's finest makers and vintage curators, including leather craftsmen, jewelry designers, and more. (In a similar vein, have you checked out Yelp's Orlando Made?) 

$15 gets you into Science Night Live! at the Science Center, including presentations, labs, movies, and trivia, with food and drink for purchase. 

Sunday, February 22nd

Photo by Tina Craig

Happy Lunar New Year! Come out and celebrate at the Dragon Parade and Lunar New Year Festival, happening this Sunday from 11:00am to 5:00pm at Fashion Square Mall. There will be dancing, acrobatics, food, crafts, music, and more at this free event.

Our favorite way to take in all that is the Oscars is at the Enzian. The Oscar Watch Party starts at 7:30pm, but you'll want to get in line at least 30-45 minutes before then to get a good table. Rewatch the nominees, because you can win some great prizes! 

Dog people, listen up: Puppy Love Dog Festival is the place to get dog portraits, puppy caricatures, and canine-specific items, this Sunday starting at noon at the acre. 

A great way to introduce your kids to gambling is Superhero Sunday: Bingo Hosted by Spider-Man, happening at the Acme Superstore from 2:00 to 4:00pm. 

What are you up to this weekend? Leave a comment!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

In Photos: Daybreak Coffee in Titusville

Photo by Nate Robinson
This post originally appeared on Abeja de Café, an Orlando-based blog covering local craft coffee and the global production network.

Not to be all Charlton Heston about it, but are there many things better than waking up with a hot cup of joe to watch the sun rise? Good coffee is arguably a relatively new development in America, but the ritual has been around for generations. Maybe you remember the Folger’s commercials from the '90s taking place in the Smoky Mountains teeming with images of steam and soft sunlight, super-blocky plaid shirts, faces way too fresh. Decidedly cornball. Of course, today we all understand that Folger’s might as well be brewed with leftover hot dog water.

That doesn’t mean in 2015 we can’t get up in the black of early morning to enjoy the good coffee and natural beauty we have right under our noses here in Central Florida. See for yourself! Here are some pointers from out shoot in Titusville on how to do coffee for two in the great outdoors:

Portable Gas Range 

Photo by Nate Robinson
You can get these for pretty cheap, as low as $25 on the internet with replacement butane canisters at about $2/piece. These will take up half of your baggage space if you’re hiking. If you are on foot, you might choose the stealthy option with a top-of-the-line Jet Boil. This is more pricey, but you will feel pretty badass.


Photo by Nate Robinson
The Hario V60 Buono Kettle is the industry standard with a capacity up to 34 oz and slender spout for controlled pouring. At the risk of kicking up a few grinds in the coffee bed we chose the kettle pictured, because it’s pretty, no? The only real consequence of a little ‘turbulence’ is a heartier cup, which can be pleasant first thing in the morning.

A Liter of Water (About 34 oz)

Photo by Nate Robinson
You will only use around a half a liter in the process of brewing 16 ounces, use the other half to heat up mugs pre-pour so as not to transfer heat from the brew to your mug. A little extra hot water helps to do a quick clean of materials once the brewing is done.

1 ½ oz of Roasted Coffee

Photo by Nate Robinson
For this trip we chose Kansas-based PT’s Coffee. Not a Florida roaster, we know, but PT’s sourced these beans through a direct-trade relationship they’ve built in El Salvador. Sergio Ticas, the President of the Salvadoran Coffee Grower’s Association, reserved this particular lot to be managed and harvested by the women of Finca Los Planes. More about that here.

Hand Grinder with Steel Burrs

Photo by Nate Robinson
This will ensure an even grind size, arguably the most important part to brewing an evenly extracted coffee. We recommend Porlex for a good quality grinder at a modest price.

Digital Pocket Scale

Photo by Nate Robinson
Make sure your brew ratios are on point. Decent scales help you monitor proper dosage and water flow. They can run as low as $10. To be a true blue specialty coffee drinker you will want to get comfortable with grams as your standard unit of measure. Don’t be afraid; here are some tips.
Water: 500 grams of water = 500 milliliters water = 16.9 fluid ounces.
Dry Grounds Tip (V60): 1.25 oz = 36 grams. Requires 500 grams of water. Makes for 15 oz of hot coffee.

V60 Drip Cone with Filter

Photo by Nate Robinson
V60 will take up a little more space in your knapsack, but the deliciousness is worth the extra care. In under 4 minutes of brewing, you will have a cup worthy of your neighborhood specialty coffee shop all in the fresh, open air. (Remember to bring a waste bag for used coffee filters.)

For pourovers, you want to use a large size mug to catch the contents from start to finish. If you’re using two smaller mugs make sure to mix the two. Don’t fill either with the first or second half of the brew. They will taste different.

…Or There is Always Aeropress!

Photo by Nate Robinson
If you really want to keep light on your feet bring the Aeropress. It will make for a great cup and it’s quick and easy. We recommend using the re-usable wire mesh filters from Kohi.

Helpful Add-Ons

Thermometer. This way you can ensure that the brewing temp stays between 201-205 Fahrenheit, the ideal temp for pourover. Inverted Aeropress can be slightly lower temp but be careful about dipping below 195F. If a thermometer isn’t handy, make sure you don’t wait too long to brew after the water has reached a boil, especially if it is chilly in the morning.

To keep track of your brewing time and measurements download the KOHI app to your phone. It will walk you through time & dosage amount depending on brewing method.

Whichever method you choose and no matter the setting, always remember to enjoy.

Jimmy Sherfey is a freelance journalist covering Slow Food in the southeastern United States and founder of Abeja de Café, where he writes about specialty coffee production in Central America. His interests include Latin-American culture, baseball, and Brazilian music from the '60s and '70s. 

Jimmy and Nate's other guest posts at theORLANDOAN include In Photos: Vespr Craft Coffee and Allures and InPhotos: Lineage Coffee Roasting.   

Friday, February 13, 2015

Weekend Preview: February 13th - 15th, 2015

Weekend Events

If a cute Valentine's Day isn't really your thing (or you have some sociopathic tendencies you want to relieve), then A Night to Dismember might be an event for you. Sneak through two haunted houses, just you and a few friends. And a flashlight. Oh, and watch out for cannibals. It's happening this Friday and Saturday; tickets are $13 and up.

Now in its fifth year, the Love Your Shorts film festival is happening this weekend in downtown Sanford. It's going on this Friday through Sunday with tickets and workshops starting at $8. 

This Saturday and Sunday is the Old Florida Outdoor Festival in Apopka, with plenty of live music, BBQ, vendors, and kids activities. Tickets start at $15, $5 kids, free for kids under 5. 

Do-Gooder's Valentine's Day

Spread the love this weekend by giving back (or maybe you just need a last-minute gift...). Donate to Community Food & Outreach Center's Honor One Another Above Yourself and make it a special day for a family in need. Or, take a look at Will You Be My Hunger Hero? to help Feeding Children Everywhere pack meals for kids and their families (Friday, 6:00 to 8:00pm). Edit: Hunger Hero is full, but you can still donate online!

Friday, February 13th

Hopefully this won't be an unlucky day for the Orlando Solar Bears as they take on the Fort Wayne Komets at 7:00pm at the Amway Center. Tickets start at $18.55 (including fees). 

CTRL❤ALT❤LOVE is The Falcon's way of celebrating St. Valentine, with burlesque performances, spanking demos, Dirty Dare, sexy DJing, tarot readings, a banana eating contest, and more. 

Saturday, February 14th

Ditch the guys, grab your girls, and come to the third annual Galentine's Day at Redlight Redlight this Saturday from 6:00 to 9:00pm. $2 off champagne and wine, mini sweets, DJ, and plenty of vendors.

As part of the library's Second Saturday programming, What I Didn’t Learn in School-An Intro to Unknown African American History starts this Saturday at 11:00am in the downtown branch. 

Orlando's largest pet walk, Paws in the Park, is happening this Saturday from 9:00am to 1:00pm, registration opens at 8:00am. Pet training, Animal Planet stars, and more!

It's time for another Orlando Indie-Folkfest at the Mennello! From 2:00 to 7:00pm, explore the park, listen to live music, shop at art vendors, and buy food and drink. 

If you've always wanted to try shuffleboard, then Saturday is your chance at the Valentine's Day Shuffle, where you can get some lessons and give it a whirl. 3:00 to 5:00pm, free. 

You just saw 50 Shades and you're jonesing for some of that body? Then don't miss Rock Hard Revue this Saturday at 7:00pm at Gilt Nightclub; tickets are $20. 

Photo by James Bannett
Sunday, February 15th

Don't miss the 2015 Orlando Roller Derby Season Opener, happening this Sunday at 4:30pm at the Semoran Skateway. Tickets are $8 advance, $10 at the door; food, beer, raffle tickets, and more available at the snack bar--bring your own chair! 

Love Your Shorts film festival and the Old Florida Outdoor Festival are going on through Sunday. 

What are you up to this weekend? Leave a comment!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Weekend Preview: February 5th - 8th, 2015

Photo by Tina Craig
Weekend Events

The Florida State Fair kicks off this weekend outside Tampa. It's happening February 5th through the 16th with all the things you love about fairs: fried this, stuffed that, crazy rides, and plenty of "Wow, that's how people used to live?" exhibits. Tickets are $7 to $9.

Also kicking off this weekend is the 40th Annual Mount Dora Arts Festival. The down buzzes with art, food, and music this Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am to 5:00pm.

The FAVO First Friday and Saturday Art Show and Market is going on this weekend. Stop by Friday from 5:00 to 9:00pm and Saturday from 10:00am to 5:00pm for art, food trucks, kids' activities, and live music.

Bonus: Thursday, February 5th

Ladies Night Valentine Shopping & Cocktails is happening at Cloak & Dapper this Thursday from 6:00 to 9:00pm. The event includes cocktails, hors d'oeuvre, and shopping specials. (If you don't have a valentine to shop for, you can always flirt with the male models...)

Smiling Bison is hosted its First Thursday Songwriter Series this Thursday from 8:00 to 11:00pm with live acts and good food.

This Thursday is the third annual Orlando Mix Tape. It's $25, but I'm sneaking it in because this concert benefits the amazing Urban Think Foundation, a non-profit that supports local culture, education, literacy, and literature. Tickets can be purchased at The Social starting at 7:30pm.

Friday, February 6th

It's time for another Date Night Movie at Lou Gardens, Gardens open at 6:00pm and the movie starts at 7:30pm. $6 adults, free for members.

Over in Baldwin Park, check out the First Friday Festival, a monthly event with live music, free samples, food and drink specials, and other vendors.

For the third year in a row, everyone's favorite literary podcast, The Drunken Odyssey, hosts Erotic Poetry Night. The live recording of some TDO all stars reading their sexy lyric takes place this Saturday at 7:00pm. 

Saturday, February 7th

This Saturday at 2:00 and 8:00pm, 10-time Grammy award-winner Arturo Sandoval and the Orlando Philharmonic take over Bob Carr; $20.

If you're down for a little road trip, come out to the 3rd Annual Daytona's Mainstreet Live. From 2:00pm to 2:00am, over 130 acts at 18 different stages take over the city in a giant street party. Tickets are $10 advance at $15 at the gate.

Get retro and join the Orlando Shuffle this Saturday at 7:00pm for some shuffleboard (free!). 

Sunday, February 8th

Will's Pub hosts Uncomfortable Brunch presenting Blue Valentine, $10, brunch buffet and an uncomfortable-to-watch movie

For a movie that's a little bit tamer (maybe?), Enzian is hosting FilmSlam again this Sunday at 1:00pm. See all eight shorts for $5. 

Start your Valentine's Day activities early this year with some great events this Sunday. One is Vintage Valentines, happening all day in the in the Audubon Park Garden District. Up in Winter Park, The Sweetest Sounds is a free Valentine's Day Concert in Central Park from 4:00 to 6:30pm. 

For a completely authentic DJ experience, check out Lazy Afternoon Four-Year Anniversary this Sunday at 5:00pm; tickets are $10-20. 

What are you doing this weekend, Orlando? Leave a comment below!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Weekend Preview: January 30th - February 1st, 2015

Weekend Events

There are two very different weekend-long events happening in Orlando that we think you'll enjoy. The first event is the Zora! Festival, honoring the Eatonville community and the author Zora Hurston (who penned Their Eyes Were Watching God) with various celebrations throughout the weekend! Most of the events are free, but check out the website for a full list.

'sup ladies?
The second event is Repticon, where you will learn everything about cute and cuddly (?) reptiles and finally find out if geckos can, in fact, save you 15% on car insurance. Located at the Central Florida Fairgrounds and starts each day at 10:00am, $10 to get in. Family fun without the fear of Voldemort's snake making an appearance.

Friday, January 30th

With this perfect weather we are having, what better way to enjoy it than a bike ride with a bunch of Orlandoans! Orlando Critical Mass starts at 5:30pm and meets at Loch Haven Park, and as always please wear a helmet and have lights on your bike!

While we are a little more like Jon Snow with our Game of Thrones knowledge (we know nothing), you might actually have a chance to prove you're fit for the iron throne by forming a team and heading over to Bikes, Beans, and Bordeaux to take part in their Game of Thrones Trivia Night starting at 7:00pm. It's free to enter, and good luck! We hear the losers get beheaded.

Saturday, January 31st

Anyone who has met us knows we love having a cheesy, campy, fun time. And what is more campy than a comedian/hypnotist? Enjoy The Power of Hypnosis at The Venue starting at 7:30pm. $15 gets you in and by all means, have a few drinks beforehand, we hear it helps with the show!

You know what's better than a fun fairy-tale themed burlesque show? Watching it in your comfortable PJs while holding a cocktail (we won't make the pun). You can do just that and have the most comfortable, sexy night at Happy Endings Naughty Fairytale Burlesque & Pajama Party at Bikkuri Lounge, starting at 10pm. Entry is $12, and there will be prizes for creative PJs, although I think the visuals will be prize enough. Hello Prince Charming!

You can almost make out Mufasa's face in the stars.

You have a chance this weekend to check out Mars, Jupiter, star clusters and a range of other amazing celestial sights at the Winter Sky Festival 2015. There will be creative activities, live owls, a party area, a history of the constellations, 3-D printing, and food trucks galore. The event is free and starts at 5pm. And if you squint while looking in the telescope, you might even catch a glimpse of Uranus, hahaha .......we'll see ourselves out.

Sunday, February 1st

If you've never had the chance to learn about urban farming, you're in luck this weekend! The Fleet Farming Swarm Ride is happening from 2pm - 5pm where you will join others in a bike around the community to learn seeding, weeding, irrigation, and the rest of what goes into growing your own food. The ride is free, meets at East End Market, and BYOBike/Helmet/Gloves/Water.

So while some are figuring out whether to support Marshawn "I'm just here so I don't get fined" Lynch or Tom "Deflategate" Brady, we are focusing on what really matters- THE PUPPY BOWL! You have several options around town for viewing but our picks would be either Falcon Bar Puppy Bowl Viewing Party that offers brunch from Dexter's and $3 Mimosas or the Hammered Lamb Puppy Bowl Viewing Party that will feature some of the puppy players on hand from the game thanks to the Florida Little Dog Rescue. Either way, you're sure to leave drunk on liquor or cuteness!

What are you doing this weekend? Leave a comment below!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Weekend Preview: January 23rd - 25th, 2015

Snap! Orlando turns one this weekend. 
Weekend Events

The annual ZORA! Festival kicks off this Saturday and runs through next week with different events every day, including lectures, concerts, exhibits, and more. 

Friday, January 23rd

Can you believe it's only been a year?! Mills50 cornerstone Snap! Space Celebrates One Year this Friday starting at 7:00pm. The celebration includes the unveiling of the new public art fence, an art mobile, beauty treats, a DJ, cocktails and coffee, a food truck, and the lighting of the revived 1940 CAMEO Theater sign.

Other People's Property is hosting its first Swap & Shop of 2015 this Friday from 5:30 to 8:00pm. The event is $20 and includes the clothing swap and goodies from Yelp, Credo, Be.Creative, as well as mini-massages and sweets.

Don't miss the Orlando Solar Bears vs. Greenville Road Warriors this Friday at 7:30pm at the Amway Center. Tickets start at $18.55 (including fees).

Orlando Rocks! is the House of Blues' local artist showcase, featuring four Orlando bands. Doors open at 7:30pm this Friday and tickets are $8. 

Saturday, January 24th

From 10:00am to 3:00pm this Saturday, the area outside Maxine's on Shine is transformed into a European market street with Finds on Shine Parisian Market, including antiques, jewelry, and crafts.

Come out and listen to Orlando's talented young writers at the Antiheroes Book Release Party, happening this Saturday at 5:00pm at the Brookhaven Warehouse. This is the third short-story anthology released in partnership with Page15.

After Antiheroes, stop by another literary event: Boris Fishman Reading with John King, happening at 7:00pm at the Gallery at Avalon Island. Fishman will read from his debut novel, A Replacement Life. He is joined by The Drunken Odyssey's John King, who will read select poems.

It's that time again: Monster Jam is back at the Florida Citrus Bowl. (Boy, I hope they don't wreck the new stadium...) The destruction starts this Saturday at 5:00pm; tickets start at $15.

Get back on the New-Years-resolution-band-wagon with Hot Pants Hip Hop Fusion, this Saturday at 5:00pm. This is your chance to take a Jazzercise class for free, just RSVP!

Starting at 8:00pm, Lil Indies hosts Orlando Music History Merch Swap, where you can get some of yesteryear's coolest band shirts, buttons, CD, cassettes (what are those?), and other nostalgic items. 

Sunday, January 25th

This Sunday the downtown library hosts Music in the Library: Blakemore Piano Studio, a free live performance of classical pieces. The event starts at 2:30pm.

Sunday is the last day to see the 7th Annual Orlando Home and Garden Show at the Orange County Convention Center. Come out and see TV and radio personalities, buy flowers, train your dog, check out the latest home trends, and more. Tickets are $9 for adults, $6 for seniors, and free for those under 16. 

What are you doing this weekend? Leave a comment below!